Sen. Lindsey Graham lit into real estate mogul Donald Trump Monday over his Saturday remarks about John McCain only being a war hero because he was in captivity for five years, telling CNN that he’s a “jackass.”
In an interview with CNN host Kate Bolduan, Graham said that the Saturday remarks would be “the beginning of the end” of Trump’s 2016 campaign. Graham, who also spent 33 years in the military, added that he’s “tired” of answering questions about Trump saying “one dumb thing after another.”
“That he’s a jackass,” Graham said when asked of his initial reaction to Trump’s comments. “That he is bringing his name down and he is not helping the process, and he shouldn’t be commander in chief.”
“If you want to be commander in chief of the armed forces, you need to understand that John McCain and all like him, not just John, are truly American heroes,” Graham said. “When when you put yourself in harm’s way, that makes you a hero. But you know what makes you the hero? When you’re the spouse raising kids when your loved one’s deployed. I’ve been in the military for 33 years. It truly is a team and family. So what he said about John, I think, was offensive.”
“He is becoming a jackass at a time when we need to have a serious debate about the future of the party and the country. We’re on the verge of giving an Iranian Ayatollah, who’s a radical jihadist, a pathway to a nuclear bomb,” Graham said. “The world is literally falling apart. We’re becoming Greece here at home, and all we’re talking about is Donald Trump and everybody he insults. But he’s crossed the line here. There maybe some frustration with our border. I get that. That’s no justification.”
“What’s the line he crossed?” Bolduan asked Graham.
“Saying that John McCain and people like him are not American heroes. The American people will not tolerate what he is doing now regarding those who have served. This is a line he has crossed. This is the beginning of the end of Donald Trump,” Graham said.
“I am really pissed,” Graham said when told he seemed “angry.” “I cannot tell you how many prisoners of war I met through John McCain and all of them are incredible people. So it’s just not about John. It’s about all of those who have experienced captivity.”
“[I]’m confident that the people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina will figure this out. But I’m really, frankly, tired of this,” Graham continued. “The world is falling apart. My party is trying to re-emerge as a viable national voice. I think we’re on the verge of a good comeback here, and every time I turn around, I’m being asked about Donald Trump saying one dumb thing after another. I’m tired of it.”